Lighting is an incredibly important part of feeling comfortable and relaxed in your home. Unfortunately, if you rent an apartment or home, the lighting that typically comes along with it can be gloomy or outdated. Does that mean you’re stuck living in a dull and dim apartment? Absolutely not! There are a number of different things you can do to improve the lighting in your place without annoying your landlord or losing out on your security deposit!
Replace the Current Lightbulbs
One of the fastest and easiest ways to change up the lighting in your apartment is by replacing the bulbs. Not big on warm lighting? Then switch to a colder bulb. Depending on your choices, you can even save a dime or two by changing your bulbs too!
Which bulb is right for you? Here is a short list of lightbulb types, the kind of lighting they provide, and other important things to consider before purchasing new lightbulbs for your home:
- Incandescent: If you’re living in an apartment over 10 years old, it’s most likely that you have incandescent bulbs installed throughout the space. They are by far the most common light bulb. Though they produce an inviting, warm light and are relatively cheap, they can get very hot, use up a large amount of energy, and need to be replaced relatively frequently.
- Halogen: In terms of energy usage and purpose, halogen lightbulbs are very similar to incandescent. However, they produce an incredibly bright white light that is more similar to sunlight. In addition, they tend to run much hotter and last much longer than incandescent bulbs if handled correctly.
- Florescent: This lighting produces a “cold” blue light often associated with hospitals. They’re not always the most flattering, but can work wonderfully in work spaces or sprawling spaces that require a lot of diffused light. Florescent bulbs are not the best for atmosphere or ambiance, but they are energy-efficient and get you a lot of bang for your buck. If you want florescent effects without the cold look, look for a florescent bulb that burns at a lower heat. These will produce a warmer light.
- Compact Florescent: These energy efficient bulbs use a fraction of the energy incandescents use and last at least twice as long. They have a warmer light and burn at a safely warm temperature, making them fantastic replacements for incandescents. They are a little more pricey than traditional lightbulbs, but ultimately you need to buy much less of them. Because of their mercury contents, you must be careful not to break them and recycle them once they finally burn out.
- LED: Though these bulbs are highly efficient, they’re not great for diffusing light throughout a room. They’re typically most useful as directional lights, like under-coutner lighting. In addition, they can be much pricier than other energy-efficent bulbs.
Find Some Unique Lamps
Image courtesy of The Lighting Judge
Finding that your overhead lighting is just generally lacking? Perhaps you’re missing a central light in a very important room? Looks like it’s time to go out lamp shopping!
Not only is this a great time to further illuminate your apartment, it’s also a great opportunity to add some extra decor to your home. Peruse the famous IKEA for some affordable lighting options. Looking for something unique and a little less pricey? Snoop around your local flea markets for cool antiques or unusual pieces. If you’re in a big city, Craigslist might even yield some interesting leads on more modern lamps.
However, be sure that aesthetic isn’t your only concern. Decide whether you want the lamp to provide more directional lighting (for tasks like reading or working at a desk) or diffused lighting that further illuminate the room overall.
Replace Outdated Fixtures
Is your apartment or home plagued by outdated lamp shades, pendent lights, and/or domed lights? Think you’re stuck with it? You’d be wrong! Hey, if you had old fans in your place, you might go out and search for top-rated ceiling fans to make some updates. Why not the same for light fixture design?
Upgrade your ugly lights by removing the old fixtures and replacing them with fixtures that better match your decor and provide the kind of lighting you’re looking for. If you invade your local antique ship or flea market, you’ll be surprised by what kind of cool pieces you can find. You could even make your own lighting if you’re feeling crafty!
“And what about the landlord?” you might be wondering. There’s nothing wrong with changing something in your rented apartment or home as long as you restore it back to normal whenever you move out. Keep the old fixtures stored safely in a box and wrapped in newspaper or tissue paper. When you move out, simply replace the old fixtures and be on your merry way (with security deposit in your pocket)!
Hang Up Some Mirrors
Don’t want to put the time and effort into messing with the light fixtures themselves? Then simply mount some mirrors up on the wall and move along! In fact, even the Egyptians used this time-old trick to brighten up their windowless. Putting a mirror in close proximity to a light or window will allow the light to be reflected and better-dispersed throughout the room. Mirrors also have a tendency add the illusion of roominess to a space and gives it a little more dimension.
Take Full Advantage of Natural Lighting
One of the best assets to have on your side when it comes to apartment lighting is natural light. Though light bulbs are a great invention, not even the best bulbs can imitate the beauty and clarity of natural light. If you have a lot to work with, make the most of it.
How do you this? Well here are just a few ways to make the most out of the natural light streaming in through those huge windows or landing:
- Put up translucent, chiffon curtains in white or cream shades. Not only will this allow the most light to get in at all hours, it will also create an airy brightness to the room.
- White walls will work similarly to chiffon curtains and illuminate the room when both natural and artificial light shines on them
- Hang up some strategically placed mirrors (see above)
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